So, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but apparently July is trying to give it another go.
I guess summer didn’t get the memo, cause today felt like peak season out there! The whales just won’t quit, and when the weather forgets what season it is, you’ve got the makings of an unbelievably epic day. So epic that Rush had to phone me in the office to rub it in my face!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First let me tell you about Rush’s first trip, which he described to me as the best trip he’s had all season! He took his 8 lucky passengers out on a 9am zodiac to find calm glassy waters, as far as the eye could see. Then he happened on over 100 harbour porpoise! Usually tricky to spot, flat clam conditions are perfect for picking up our smallest cetacean. As he traveled on, Rush flew past 12 to 14 bait balls! These are teeming masses of birds feeding on bait fish just below the surface. Then he found 2 Minke whales… And all three southern resident killer whale pods… And 12 Pacific white-sided dolphins… And two humpbacks…
ALL IN THE SAME PLACE! The dolphins were travelling right alongside, and often intermixed with the killer whales, and the Minkes and humpbacks kept popping up right in the thick of things as well. Chaos!
Matt added that his 10am trip saw a similarly dazzling density of wildlife. Things spread out a little as the day went on, but every trip spotted a huge variety of species. Ocean Magic II was out at 12:15pm with Captain Jeff, First Mate me, Naturalist Rowan, and Skipper Bo, who joined us on board as crew in order to train on the big boat. We also spotted members of all three resident pods just waking up from a nap and doing some incredibly intimate socializing. Along with a couple of humpback whales, we also caught up with two big groups of both harbour and Dall’s porpoise!
There were birds all over the place today as well. Bait balls left, right and centre. Skipper Matt rather snarkily noted on his report the prefect placement of these birds: “THOUSANDS of seabirds south of … well … Seabird Point.”
On Rush’s last trip of the day he had an even more magical experience. You see, because even though there were members of all three pods present this morning, doesn’t mean that every Southern Resident killer whale was there. Only when every member of every pod is present can we call it a super pod, and there were a few members of L-pod unaccounted for this morning. Well Rush found them, as they joined up with everybody else…
Which means breaching, spy hopping, tail slapping, and more socializing behaviour than I even want to think about. This was when Rush called me. He sounded somewhere between sympathetic and smug.
Let’s go see what we find tomorrow!
By Jennifer Dickson